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About us

We are a Special Health Authority, specialising in strategic workforce issues. We help make Wales a great place to train and work for healthcare professionals, and improve healthcare services and patient care.

We spend the largest proportion of our budget on commissioning education and training for NHS Wales. However, the majority of our work focuses on workforce planning. We also set the direction for leadership in NHS Wales.


Aims and objectives

We have three aims to do this:

  1. Building our future workforce
  2. Developing our current workforce
  3. Embedding culture and leadership in NHS Wales

To achieve these, we have 11 strategic objectives. These can be found on page 16 in our three-year plan for 2023 to 2026. We refer to this as our IMTP (Integrated Medium-Term Plan). The objectives focus on investing in education for healthcare professionals, improving recruitment into NHS Wales, and supporting leadership development.


Legal duties

Our strategic work is underpinned by our eight statutory functions. These include:

Education and training: We plan, commission, deliver and quality manage undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare education and training. We also development healthcare apprenticeship frameworks in partnership with Welsh Government. 

Leadership development: We provide leadership guidance which focuses on compassionate and collective leadership. We also identify and nurture talent among those who aspire to become Directors and Chief Executives.

Workforce strategy, planning, and intelligence: We help others in NHS Wales develop workforce plans and provide analytical insight. This helps to support the current and future workforce.

Workforce development and transformation: We support change that responds to significant service challenges, including skills development, role design, and improving career pathways.

Professional support: We support organisational and workforce development within Wales.

Quality: We improve education and training by collaboratively developing standards for guidance and strategies.

Careers and widening access: We promote careers in healthcare and ensure these opportunities are available to everyone. We also support people with valuable skills and experience who are under-represented in our NHS workforce pursue a healthcare career.

Retention: We work with partners to embed health and wellbeing into NHS Wales. This helps encourage professional to stay in NHS Wales.


Our story

In 2014, the Welsh Government reviewed their investment in healthcare education and workforce development. This led to the creation of our organisation, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) in October 2018. It was formed by merging three key healthcare organisations: the Wales Deanery, NHS Wales’s Workforce Education and Development Services (WEDS), and the Wales Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education (WCPPE). This merge provides a unified approach to education and training, workforce modernisation, and planning within the NHS in Wales.


Values and behaviours

Our values revolve around respect, teamwork, and a commitment to continuous improvement. We listen actively, treat others fairly, and foster a culture of inclusivity. We encourage creativity and innovation while maintaining a positive and constructive approach.


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